Denmark enters Syrian conflict

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A Danish F-16 Fighting Falcon ascends after taking off from Sigonella NATO Airbase in the southern Italian island of Sicily in March, 2011. Photo by Antonio Condorelli/Reuters

A Danish F-16 Fighting Falcon ascends after taking off from Sigonella NATO Airbase in the southern Italian island of Sicily in March, 2011. Photo by Antonio Condorelli/Reuters

Danish warplanes dropped bombs on the Islamic State in Syria for the first time, the country’s military said Friday.

At some point “in the past week,” four Danish F-16 fighter jets attacked Raqqa, the self-declared caliphate of the Islamic State, targeting command facilities, troops and weapons stocks, Defence Command Denmark said.

The entrance into the Syrian conflict represents an expansion of Denmark’s role in the fight against the terrorist group. Danish planes have conducted strikes against the Islamic State in Iraq since voting to join the U.S.-led coalition in Sept. 2014, but Friday’s announcement marks the nation’s first declaration of activity in Syria.

In April, Denmark said it would increase its involvement in the coalition’s effort by sending seven F-16 jets, a transport aircraft and military personnel to assist the Syria campaign.

The multi-sided war in Syria raged on as Denmark announced its increased activity, with Aleppo surrounded by pro-government forces and bombarded by Russian airstrikes. On Friday, Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu called for the resumption of peace talks.

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